The responsibility of teaching is one that should never be taken lightly. Every time I speak to or teach my students or any other group, I make the following promises:
- I will always be honest. I won’t sugarcoat the facts or shy away from the truth. I won’t attempt to present things in a false light just to avoid controversy. I won’t abuse my position by twisting the truth in order to gain or profit anything. I will always be as honest and real as I possibly can.
- I will always teach what Jesus said, not what I say. I won’t spin or color the message. To the absolute best of my ability, I will teach and convey Jesus’ heart and not my own. It’s easy and often tempting to go off on a personal vendetta or to use the platform to teach with impure motives of persuading students based on a personal viewpoint on any given issue or topic. My goal is to point them to Jesus, not to me, so I promise to always do my best to give them His pure, unfiltered words.
- I will always put them in a position to pursue the truth for themselves. I often tell my students, “Never believe anything that I say just because I say so. Go to the source and find out for yourself.” I encourage them to open their Bibles, pray seeking wisdom, and determine for themselves what they believe based on what God has to say, not what I have to say. I do my best to give them the tools and understanding they need to continue the learning and growth process on their own, long after my “talk” is over. I want their faith and understanding of who Jesus and what He wants for them to be founded on His Word, not mine.
I want my students or anyone else I have the honor of speaking to or teaching to trust me. I want them to have confidence in the truth of what I teach. I want them to know that it’s never about me, so I make these promises. I would challenge any teacher, speaker, or leader of students or any other church ministry to make these same promises both to your audience and to yourself. Building these checks and balances into your ministry will keep your heart in the right place as you lead.